What is the Brazilian butt lift?

I received an email the other day requesting information on whether I did the “Brazilian butt lift” and a long list of technical questions about how I did it. As with all surgical procedures, everybody does it a little differently. I am not sure anybody can say they “own the procedure” or “this is the way it’s done” and everyone else is wrong. Well, for any patient’s purposes, the results are what counts, not the name of the procedure or whether it was done like this or like that.

In any case I started doing a procedure that for all intents and purposes is almost identical to the ‘Brazilian butt lift’, and I would like to explain to you why and how I do it.

First of all, I think the majority of women tend to accumulate fat from the level of the belly button to the mid thigh. Thus, I ended up doing a lot of combined liposuction to the lower belly, the love handles, and the inner and outer thighs. As I continued to follow my patients over the years, I noticed that a lot of those who gained weight did so not in the areas I had worked on, but in nearby areas. This tended to be in the upper belly and waist, the anterior thighs, and the buttocks.

So in some cases, I was already enhancing the buttocks, but neither I nor the patients thought it was a great deal. As a matter of fact, some patients returned for butt liposuction because their butts got “too big”. Then “Sir Mixalot” came with his song “I like big butts”, and it seemed a lot of people agreed with him because when Jennifer Lopez came into the scene “big butts” were all of a sudden a marketable item.

Now Brazilians (and Puerto Ricans for that matter) had always appreciated “big butts”, but the plastic surgeons in Brazil have a long and storied tradition of innovation and they had focused on the butt long before we had here in the states. They were doing butt implants as early as the 80’s, and in the US an early pioneer was Dr. Hidalgo in Miami (who has since moved to Peru).

Implants have always had problems, as is the case with breast implants, so people tried fat injections. Early results were not good because fat was suctioned at the same pressure that was used for routine liposuction. This injured the fat cells. Secondly, fat was injected in large clumps, which prevented the body from reestablishing blood flow promptly to fat cells inside the clump. In my next entry I will describe how the new fat injection techniques were successfully incorporated into butt augmentation.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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